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An Assessment of Coastal Hypoxia and Eutrophication in U.S. Waters

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An Assessment of Coastal Hypoxia and Eutrophication in U.S. Waters


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The activities undertaken to develop this Assessment have been conducted under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Councils Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR). The report responds to a call by Congress for an Assessment of Hypoxia as described in the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 (Title VI of P.L. 105 383, section 604(b)). The Assessment examines √Ęthe ecological and economic consequences of hypoxia in United States coastal waters; alternatives for reducing, mitigating, and controlling hypoxia; and the social and economic costs and benefits of such alternatives. Congress passed this legislation in the face of increasing frequency and intensity of outbreaks of harmful algal blooms (HABs). The Assessment further supports initial Congressional findings that a significant factor causing or contributing to HABs may include excessive nutrients in coastal waters and that HABs and blooms of non-toxic algal species may also lead to other damaging marine conditions, such as hypoxia (reduced oxygen concentrations), which are harmful or fatal to fish, shellfish, and benthic organisms.

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